Showing posts from May, 2020

*UPDATED* The First Ever Black Birders Week May 31-June 5th

By now you have probably heard about the racist Canadian-born White woman who did a racist attack on a Black birder named Christian Cooper in Central Park in NYC. All he asked was for her to leash her dog in a on-leash dog area. If you haven't heard of this story you can watch the video and read about it HERE . It's a vile video of a vile person who knew her White privilege and used it as a weapon against this man.  We all know that in America many Black people especially Black men are killed by police for no reason at all but the colour of their skin. A good example is George Floyd who was killed by a police officer (while 3 other cops looked on) for what they said was a possible 20$ forged bill. The White police officer put a knee on his neck on camera for over 8 mins until he died, despite having the victim completely restrained, begging for mercy and not being able to breathe. Only one police officer was charged and not for 1st degree murder but third and manslaught

Watch new video on the proposed Delta Port Expansion and take action now!

The Raincoast Conservation Foundation came out with a new video yesterday about the importance of protecting the Fraser River Estuary.  Did you realize the expansion would create an artificial island that is the size of 150 football fields?. Y ou can watch the video below.  My friend Ian Cruickshank provided the great sounds in the video and my friend Kate Paton provided some of the video footage . The Raincoast Conservation Foundation would like everyone to use and sign this form letter located HERE which will go to Jonathan Wilkinson, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change. We need to put pressure on him to reject the Terminal 2 expansion which is proposed by The Port of Vancouver as the Federal Gov't will be making the final decision. We must do this for the birds, fish and animals that we love that use this area and for the future of generations to come. 

World Albatrosss Day June 19th

I was honored to have 2 of my Albatross photos featured in the recent Birds Canada article "Wet And Wild Seabird Facts For World Albatross Day. " On June 19th, 2020 it will be the very first World Albatross Day! To read more about why this day was created click HERE I love Albatrosses and have been lucky enough to see Black-footed, Short-tailed and Laysan in BC (off Tofino). You can read the full article where my photos are featured  HERE . If you are able please donate to the "Mouse-free Marion Project" which is trying to eradicate predatory invasive house mice from Marion Island in South Africa. Click HERE to donate through Birds Canada. It is vitally important that we keep working to reduce our use of plastics and ensuring that commercial fisheries use sustainable fishing methods to reduce the worldwide loss of these wonderful birds. Here are the 2 photos of mine featured in the article: Black-footed Albatross off Tofino, BC - Photo: Melissa Haf

Invitation To Attend The public Iona Wastewater Treatment Plant Project Meetings

Metro Vancouver is hosting two public online community meetings on May 19th and May 21st for the general public to attend. This is to discuss the upcoming decommissioning of the Iona sewage ponds which will affect many migratory shorebirds and waterfowl that use the area. These public meetings will be held on: T uesday, May 19, 2020, 12:00 to 2:00 pm or Thursda y , May 21, 2020, 6:30 to 8:30 pm  In these meetings Metro Van states they want the public to learn about the design concepts for the new plant and give feedback on community and park integration, and habitat enhancement and resource recovery opportunities.  This is your chance to stand up for the birds that use this important area and voice your opinion on how you think habitat should be restored. To sign up please click  HERE I have been invited to attend a second stakeholder meeting with Metro Van Park on May 13th and I will be sure to voice my concerns about the importance of these lagoons to birds and bir

Hundreds of birds die on a cruise ship...

Every year many migrating birds die on cruise ships, also the cruise ships hit whales and kill many resting Albatrosses. It is the dark side of the cruise industry that few talk about. Recently on April 24-25, 2020 a catastrophic event occurred that The Cornell Lab of Ornithology just published. You can watch a video of all the dead birds (mostly warblers) on every deck, see photos and read more about this phenomenon HERE . Most likely the birds were attracted to and disoriented by the lights of the cruise ship as they were nocturnally migrating. There was also an intense storm at the time and all these factors and being tired probably caused the birds to get confused and slam into the structures on board killing them. Some of the beautiful birds that perished were the  Common Yellowthroat, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Yellow-throated Warbler and American Redstart. Sadly there isn't much hope for cruise ships to

Owls in North Vancouver continue to get poisoined

Recently a breeding pair of Great Horned Owls in North Van were found dead from rat poison. Also a Barred Owl was found lethargic and bleeding from its mouth and being dive bombed by crows. This is sadly the second time this particular tagged Owl has got sick from rat poison. The Barred Owl was taken to OWL a second time and is there now after 5 days of Vitamin K injections. It is time now for rodenticide to be banned and for us all to switch to CO2 rat traps which are more humane to the rat and protect our birds and wildife. Watch the video HERE  on how this safe and fairly humane rat trap works. You can buy it HERE . What more will it take? Please keep writing your MPs and MLAs so we can get this banned. We have to speak up for those who can't speak for themselves. I have lost count on how many posts like this I've written and nothing seems to change but one day it will and I won't give up. Looking at this bleeding and suffering owl in this video, just bre

A few good ways to virtually celebrate Migratory Bird Day on May 9th!

Alice Sun, a talented young birder who graduated from my young birder program, is doing a photography workshop for birders of all ages. The workshop (put on by The Wild Bird Trust of BC) aims to teach people how they can help bird conservation through the use of photography and storytelling. Alice Sun is an incredibly talented environmental visual storyteller and photographer. She will do a great job teaching you on this workshop!.  In a world where habitat and bird species are under constant threat, we need this now more than ever. It is through visual displays that we can really influence and help educate the public about how important it is to protect the planet's animals and the planet itself. This is a free virtual event happening May 9th at 1pm and you can register at this link HERE   Also before this event at 11 am on May 9th you can join in with The Migratory Bird Day Virtual Celebration put on by Birds Canada , Metro Van Parks and the Canadian Parks and Wi

Photographing The Difficult Common Yellowthroat

Today won't be a lengthy post but wanted to share my encounter with this very accommodating Common Yellowthroat. It was a good morning for Warblers today and I was happy to also see my first Yellow Warbler of the year. Yellowthroats are one of my favourite warblers and I find them extremely difficult to photograph. I've included a tight crop and also a habitat shot. To get these shots I crouched in the wet reeds beneath the bird as he hopped from bush to bush singing his heart out. I am hoping they will  nest here which would be a first for my tiny local park. Common Yellowthroat in Richmond - Photos: Melissa Hafting